Thompson Rivers University has unveiled its TRU Athletics Hall of Fame, with the first class of inductees in the university’s 55 years in post-secondary sports to include people from the categories of builder, coach and athlete.
The official Hall of Fame wall is now located near the WolfPack office inside the Tournament Capital Centre and will also be hosted online at gowolfpack.ca, with biographies and videos of each inductee.
The first inductee was announced on Monday (March 29) —Pat O’Brien, in the builder category. Hall of fame inductee announcements are also scheduled for April 5 and April 12.
O'Brien was the school’s first director of athletics and recreation, having started in the 1970-1971 season (when TRU was known as Cariboo College) and retiring after 24 years, in 1994.
During that time, O’Brien was coach or manager of many of the sports programs, including men's soccer, men's hockey and any other team needing his leadership. He also helped create the Sports Task Force, which has raised significant funds for TRU Athletics, and he remained involved in retirement.
O’Brien established the sports programs at Cariboo College, starting with the soccer and hockey programs in 1970. In 1971, he co-ordinated the admission of Cariboo College hockey into the newly established PIHL, the first organized league in which the school became a member. In 1972, he co-ordinated the transition of Cariboo College from the PIHL into the Totem Conference. The Totem Conference would eventually become the BCCAA, then PACWEST, which included league competition for all of sports, including badminton, basketball, volleyball, cross-country, golf, ice hockey, rugby, soccer and curling.
O’Brien was inducted into the Kamloops Sports Hall of Fame in 1997.